A guide to the Garden Tidy Service

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under Help in your home - gardens.

Do you need help with your garden?

The Garden Tidy Service is provided by Gateshead Council’s Communities and Environment on behalf of The Gateshead Housing Company. It is not a full gardening service, but it is a service that helps keep tenants’ gardens tidy.

For Gateshead Council tenants who receive the Garden Tidy Service, between April and October the Council’s garden team visit approximately every four weeks (weather dependent). Following these visits, two additional visits are carried out between November and March.

Visits between April and October will include:

  • Cutting the grass at each visit (in some smaller gardens, or those with an incline, they may have to use a strimmer not a mower)
  • Trimming back hedges that are under 5ft twice a year in April/May (unless there are nesting birds) and September/October
  • Cutting back small lower branches from trees (from standing height only), when required
  • Removing large weeds from paved areas
  • Removing large weeds from borders
  • Herbicide treatment for weeds on hard standing areas once or twice a year.

Please note:

Planted pots will not be maintained.

Garden ornaments, solar lights etc. will not be moved – the gardeners will work around them as best they can, at a safe enough distance to attempt to avoid damaging them. Any ornaments, lights, furniture etc. in your garden are left there at your own risk.

If you have subscribed to the Council’s kerbside green garden waste collection service and your garden bin sticker indicates this, branches and weeds will be disposed of in your own bin. If you do not have a garden bin or have chosen not to pay the annual charge, garden waste will be piled in one area of your garden; it will then be your responsibility to dispose of it. Grass cuttings will be left, though pathways will be cleared.

Visits between November and March will include:

  • Pruning certain types of shrubs and plants when required. This is normally during the winter season, however some shrubs may require pruning in a different season
  • Carrying out a general winter tidy-up which includes such things as edging, raking up leaves and other garden debris, removing any weeds and hoeing borders.

Please note:

As during the spring/summer months, planted pots will not be maintained.

Garden ornaments, solar lights etc. will not be moved – the gardeners will work around them as best they can, at a safe enough distance to attempt to avoid damaging them. Any ornaments, lights, furniture etc. in your garden are left there at your own risk.

The cost:

A weekly cost is added to your rent account. Your local housing office can let you know how much it is.

If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit and you are affected by either a physical impairment and/or a long-term illness that prevents you from doing your garden the charge, or part of it, may be eligible for Housing Benefit. Evidence of what stops you from doing your garden will be required.

Also, for the charge to be covered, or part covered, by housing benefit there must not be any other adult living with you who is able to do your garden. If they cannot do the garden they too must provide evidence of the physical impairment and/or long-term illness that prevents them from gardening.

Universal Credit

Currently, Housing Benefit pays the £6.05 weekly Garden Scheme charge for customers who can prove they have an illness or medical condition that prevents them from gardening.

However, the Garden Scheme is not eligible for payment by Universal Credit, so if you move from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit you can choose to pay the £6.05 weekly charge yourself, or stop receiving the service and leave the Garden Scheme.

Want to know more?

If you would like to join the scheme, please fill in the online form, email the Garden Tidy Service or call 0191 433 5822.

Places are limited and there is a waiting list.

We will register you on the waiting list and as soon as a space is available we will contact you.